KCC against the increase of energy prices for businesses: Many companies would go bankrupt

KCC against the increase of energy prices for businesses: Many companies would go bankrupt

The business community is strongly opposing any idea that they should bear the burden of rising electricity prices. Kosovo Chamber of Commerce is against the proposal of the Ministry of Finance, saying that the increase will have irreparable consequences. The head of KCC, Berat Rukiqi, says that with the increase of tariffs for them, many businesses would have the fate of “Ferronikeli”.

KCC has not sent any comment to the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) on the new structure of energy tariffs, but Rukiqi warns that if ERO decides to increase the price of electricity for businesses, it would greatly damage their activity.

Rukiqi stated that in no way will they accept the increase in electricity prices, as such a thing, according to him, would lead many businesses to bankruptcy.

“No, absolutely, we will strongly oppose it if there is an increase in the price of electricity for businesses. A good part of businesses will have no choice but to close if the increase is with block tariffs. We have fought hard to remove the block tariff for businesses, and it was removed, as it was detrimental to the competitiveness of businesses. The imposition of block tariff for businesses is a decision that would send many businesses to bankruptcy. But, thankfully with the proposal of ERO no increase is foreseen of the tariff for businesses “, he emphasizes.

Rukiqi, in an interview for KosovaPress, showed the reasons why they did not send proposal-comments to ERO for the new structure of electricity tariffs.

He also spoke about the consequences that private sector workers may have if electricity tariffs are raised for businesses.

“We did not send (proposals) because the ERO proposal did not foresee such a thing. We would  sent them if they had foreseen it. So, it is not that it affected us and in this case the ERO proposal has not become a stakeholder because it has not proposed any business implications. NGOs and ministries are right, but neither the Ministry of Finance nor INDEP’s proposal seemed to be reasonable for the price increase for businesses. This should measure the effects that has on businesses. If a business closes, those private sector workers lose their jobs, and can not pay (energy), neither cheap nor expensive. This has an immediate effect, I say this with full conviction because the operating margins of businesses and other costs have increased. This would have irreparable consequences where many of them would be forced to shut their business activity, as happened in the case of ‘Feronikeli'”, he says.

The Minister of Finance, Labor and Transfers, Hekuran Murati had proposed that the burden of rising electricity prices be transferred to businesses.

Among other things, the head of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, Rukiqi stated that 2022 will be difficult for the economy, while emphasizing that the economic recovery is being affected by two factors.

“Now the recovery is being affected by two factors. The first factor is rising prices and the lack of stability in the supply chain, and the second factor is unpredictability. There are constantly measures like the last ones in which we have considered that they are drastic, like the curfew, the restrictions of the working hours and the movement of the workers … I continue to insist that it will not be an easy year (2022) since 2021 ended with a lot of unpredictability… Disorders in global markets, geopolitical elements,  conflicts in the periphery of Europe did not make it easier for anyone. It will have effects on the global economy, and inflation that has exceeded the expected limits globally, and it will certainly make things  more difficult for us this year. Therefore, the country’s institutions, the government and the parliament should issue decisions focusing on the preservation of the private sector,” he said.

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